Deadline approaches for service provider forms

If you operate a business and you paid any service provider at least $600 for services during 2011, you must provide Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to the provider no later than Jan. 31, 2012.

However, if the provider is a corporation, you generally do not have to provide Form 1099-MISC.

You must provide the form to sole proprietorships and partnerships, as well as to attorneys or medical service providers who do business as corporations. The only way to know whether it is a corporation is to have the provider complete IRS Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.

You do not need to send service providers a Form 1099-MISC if you paid for their services with a credit card, debit card, gift card or another electronic payment medium (e.g., PayPal). The bank or credit card company that made the actual payment will send the contractor Form 1099-K.

If you're unsure whether a Form 1099-MISC is required, it is better to send one. You can be penalized if you do not send all qualified service providers this form.

If you plan to mail your Forms 1099-MISC to the IRS, you must mail them no later than Feb. 28, 2012. If you are sending an electronic file, you must file it with the IRS by April 2, 2012.

For more information, review Form 1099-MISC and the related instructions.

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